After TV shows, China goes after comics and animation in latest clampdown on entertainment industry

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Sep 27, 2021, 10:57 PM IST


Story highlights

The National Radio and Television Administration asked TV channels to 'resolutely resist bad plots', and instead broadcast excellent cartoons with 'healthy content and promote truth, goodness and beauty'

After online games and TV talent shows, comics and animation seem to be on the next list of China’s targets, as it seeks to ban the children entertainment platforms that promote “violence, blood, vulgarity or pornography”.

“TV channels must resolutely resist bad plots, and instead only broadcast excellent cartoons with healthy content and promote truth, goodness and beauty,” the National Radio and Television Administration, the country’s broadcasting authority, said in a statement on its website on Friday.

“Children and adolescents are the main audience groups of cartoons. The broadcast organisations should set up special TV channels for children that create a good environment for the healthy growth of young people,” the authority said.

The new order applies to all cartoons broadcast on television as well as those streamed online.

Hours after the announcement, a popular Japanese superhero series, ‘Ultraman Tiga’, was removed from the online streaming platforms on Friday.

State-run tabloid Global Times reported that it could have been taken off because of its “violent plot” which included fight scenes and explosions.

The show’s removal drew widespread criticism on Chinese social media platforms like Weibo, where a hashtag of the show’s removal was trending for several days.

One popular post, which broke the news on the ban, was liked more than 1 million times before being deleted, reports the CNN.

In April, authorities in Jiangsu province released a list of 21 cartoons and television dramas that could affect children’s development.

The list included the well-known shows “Peppa Pig,” a British cartoon series; “My Little Pony,” an American cartoon; and “Case Closed,” also known as “Detective Conan,” a massively successful Japanese manga and anime series.


Earlier this month, China banned some reality talent shows and ordered broadcasters not to promote men displaying “effeminate” behaviour, saying that the “immoral” culture is leading youngsters down the wrong path.

While announcing the restrictions, China’s broadcasting accused the entertainment industry of “severely polluting the social atmosphere” and being a bad influence on young people. 

The banning spree on the entertainment industry was extended to online games as well, where the Chinese authorities in August announced that children would only be allowed to play 3 hours of video games a week, because of the “harmful effects games were having on young minds”.

(With inputs from agencies)